Due to the increasing demand of technology in homes and businesses, careers in the field of information technology are equally experiencing high demand.
However, individuals interested in pursuing a career in IT may be at a loss of the benefits of a degree in cybersecurity vs. software engineering.
Cyber Security vs. Software Engineering: Which is the best path?
Although both degrees are promising in the field of IT, having a clear understanding of the differences between both academic programs and what each discipline involves can help interested individuals make better career choices.
Here is a brief overview to show the details of critical similarities and differences in terms of skill requirements and career opportunities in both fields.
What Will Be Gained From a Degree in Cyber Security?
A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity prepares prospects for a career in information security. It involves the study of how information security tools, networks, wireless systems, cloud, and so on, work.
Individuals pursuing this degree will learn about digital forensics and ethical hacking. They will also learn about cyber laws within which cybersecurity professionals operate.
What Does Cyber Security Professionals Do?
Cybersecurity professional design and implement security measures to manage and protect the databases of government and private firms.
As cyber-attacks and data breaches have become increasingly common, better-secured networks and IT infrastructure are required to ensure the safety of sensitive information.
With a degree in cybersecurity, you can work with the government in IT companies, eCommerce, financial institutions, IT departments of firms, and other organizations that require the protection of data.
Career Choices in Cyber Security
- Information security analyst
- Information technology auditor
- Network architect
- Information security manager
- IT security consultant
What Will Be Gained From a Degree in Software Engineering?
Individuals interested in pursuing a degree in software engineering will get acquainted with programming languages, developing internet applications, and algorithm analysis.
They will also learn how to implement security measures and solve other IT related problems.
What Does Software Engineers Do?
A security software developer design, develop, integrate, and maintain cybersecurity software. The CS developer can work with software developers to ensure that the software is designed with security.
Software engineers can design new approaches to computing, develop electronic products, and building software. Software engineers can work with the government in computer systems design and applications developing companies, research and development, and software publishers.
Career Choices in Software Engineering
- Software developer
- Systems analyst
- Video games developer
- Data scientist
- Web designer,
- Database administrator
- Network systems administrator
Similarities Between Cyber Security and Software Engineering
- Specialists in cybersecurity and software engineering can gain employment in similar roles.
- Both career paths require extensive technical and computing knowledge in areas such as mobile, networks, and cloud computing.
- Experience in shell scripting and big data technologies
- Understanding of real-time software architectures
The preference of cybersecurity professionals is due primarily to the many cyber issues that cause data vulnerability, such as cyber breaches, inadequate firewalls, third-party data sharing, and cyber attacks. These problems can be better solved with expert knowledge from a cybersecurity professional.
Differences Between Cyber Security and Software Engineering
- Software engineering degree offers a broader focus than a degree in cybersecurity.
- Software engineers can take up roles in several industries other than the field of cybersecurity.
- A degree in cybersecurity provides much more comprehensive knowledge in tackling data breaches than software engineering.
- Software engineering programs do not require taking up courses in cybersecurity courses. However, there are some transferable skills learned in Software engineering degree that can be applied to cybersecurity.
In general, obtaining degrees in cybersecurity and software engineering can lead to exciting careers in the field of information technology. However, if you are interested in digital defense, eliminating vulnerabilities, and protection of data from cyber attacks, a cybersecurity degree will put you on the right track.
5 Best Programming Languages to Learn for Cyber Security
A lot of aspiring cybersecurity professionals and software developers interested in the cybersecurity field ask this: Is coding required for cybersecurity?
It is essential to have programming skills to excel as a cybersecurity professional. An all-round professional should be able to implement and monitor security measures that guard computer systems against attacks and unauthorized access.
Besides being informed about the latest trends in the cybersecurity field, you also need to be up-to-date with various programming languages.
Here are some of the best programming languages for developers aspiring to start a career in the field of cybersecurity.
1. C and C++
Most operating systems are developed using the C programming language. This lean, flexible, and resourceful language can be used in the completion of a wide range of tasks like cryptography, image processing, and socket networking. Despite being a basic programming language, C was used in popular coding applications like Spotify and Dropbox.
C++ is a programming language developed based on the source code of C. C and C++, which are essential low-level programming languages in the field of cybersecurity. They provide access to critical IT infrastructures like RAM and system processes. However, if it is not well secured, it can easily be hacked.
There are several cybersecurity programs created using C++, such as the network mapper tool, Nmap.
A cybersecurity expert, who is good at using C and C++ programming languages, will be able to tackle attacks targeting basic operations within your organization’s systems. Likewise, a software engineer well versed in this programming language will have a smooth transition into the field of cybersecurity.
For someone without any prior programming skills, this programming language is natural to start with, as its syntax is straightforward to understand. Python is a programming language that is commonly used by data science professionals and now becoming popular among cybersecurity experts. It is primarily sought after because it adheres to code readability, clear and straightforward syntax, and available in many libraries.
With the knowledge of Python as a cybersecurity expert, you will be able to identify vulnerabilities within systems, build intrusion detection systems, perform malware analysis, attack simulations, and also scan wireless networks with minimal reliance on third-party tools.
PHP is a server-side programming language used by software engineers for website development. Most websites are developed using PHP, and so understanding this language as a cybersecurity professional will equip you with the skills to guard sites against hackers.
For instance, DoS (Denial-of-service) attacks usually attempt to make web applications unavailable to intended users.
5. SQL (Structured Query Language)
SQL is the most preferred programming language for managing data stored in databases. It is commonly used to maintain and retrieve data.
As the business world is increasingly becoming more data-driven, the database management systems of most organizations are powered by SQL. Hackers are continually devising methods to damage or infiltrate the stored data.
For instance, SQL injection attacks are commonly used by hackers. It involves finding SQL vulnerabilities and stealing or modifying data stored in databases.
Hence, for a career in cybersecurity, having a good understanding of SQL language is needed to ensure databases are more secure.
Depending on your specific use-case, you may find that one language fits your role better than the others. Besides the listed programming languages, several other languages can be learned to advance one’s knowledge and career in the field of information technology.
There are lots of variables in choosing a career path in either cybersecurity or software engineering. Nonetheless, to be an expert in the cybersecurity profession, you need to master the skills of a software engineer.